Defense Holdings' HiPerCon Team to Develop MFB Technology for Army Black Hawk Helicopter De-Icing Systems

Defense Holdings' HiPerCon Team to Develop MFB Technology for Army Black Hawk Helicopter De-Icing Systems

Arlington, VA (April 24, 2009) — Defense Holdings, Inc® (DHi) was awarded on Apr. 24, 2009 a five-year $9.8M Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase III IDIQ contract, with an initial $715K Delivery Order to extend the development of its Metal Fiber Brushes to U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter de-icing systems.

  Work is to be performed in Arlington, VA and Charlottesville, VA. U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate, Ft. Eustis, VA is the contracting activity (W911W6-09-D-0006).

Defense Holdings, Inc and HiPerCon, LLC® of Charlottesville, VA have teamed to extend the use of their revolutionary, patented Metal Fiber Brush (MFB) technology originally developed for use in U.S. Navy nuclear submarines to the Army’s Black Hawk helicopter.

MFBs, which gain their name from the fact that they are constructed of thousands of hair-fine silver alloy fibers running on their tips, offer significant improvement over carbon brushes in both data and current transfer, offering extended brush and slip ring service life, high current capacity, and significant decreases in service acoustic and electrical noise. Our silver alloy fibers offer significantly better service life and higher speeds over gold wire technology at a considerable price advantage. MFB technology was originally developed under the Small Business Independent Research (SBIR) program working with HiPerCon, LLC, the U.S. Navy and the University of Virginia. MFBs are now being backfitted to the Navy’s fleet of nuclear submarines.

Metal Fiber Brush for Propeller De-Icing  Systems

Following in the wake of their successes with submarine applications, DHi and HiPerCon adapted their submarine MFBs to solve de-icing system problems for the Navy’s E-2C early warning aircraft and the Air Force’s C-130 aircraft, resulting in the project being named an Air Force SBIR Success Story. In these and other aircraft de-icing systems, frequent failures of carbon brushes and the presence of carbon dust can pose significant risk of de-icing system failures and fire. MFBs offer significant reductions in scheduled preventative maintenance providing increased operational availability. DHi can provide the complete spectrum of engineering and life-cycle support for MFBs from a form-fit-function replacement for existing carbon brushes in legacy slip ring systems to complete slip ring design, manufacturing and life cycle support. DHi also offers MFBs for point designs such as its MFB grounding brush. The MFB grounding brush can be easily fitted to existing applications with simple tools and can run on the existing shaft without modifications. DHi’s MFB grounding brush will clearly outlast existing grounding brush systems and its very low resistance and high current carrying capability ensures protection for valuable assets. MFB technology is also being applied in a number of products such as consumer electrical devices, wind turbines, vehicle power generation, transportation, and many others.

Rich Martin, DHi’s President and CEO, states “Defense Holdings and HiPerCon are pleased to be able to apply this great technology to improve the Black Hawk’s de-icing system. We hope that other military and civilian organizations that operate variants of this Sikorsky aircraft will also adopt our technology. DHi has proven that its MFBs can deliver a reliability improvement across a range of operating conditions ranging from controlled environments to harsh environments where carbon brushes increasingly fail.” DHi and HiPerCon have developed the technology, have pioneered the MFB market, and are presently the largest supplier of these types of Metal Fiber Brushes in the world.

Defense Holdings, Inc. (DHi), a service-disabled, veteran-owned, small business, is a technology leader specializing in the defense and homeland security markets with headquarters in Manassas, VA, and production facilities in Trenton, NC.

HiPerCon, LLC is also a service-disabled, veteran-owned, small business with headquarters in Charlottesville, VA.

DHi and HiPerCon share co-located research facilities in Charlottesville, VA. Both companies work with Government agencies, universities and industry to put timely new technologies into the private and public marketplace.

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